By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
WBO President Paco Valcarcel has responded to the appointment of Terry O’Connor as referee to the WBO heavyweight title bout Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury on September 23 by Robert Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control requesting that neutral referee and judges be appointed from countries other than England or New Zealand according to WBO rules.
From Paco Valcárcel, President of the World Boxing Organization
To Mr. Robert W. Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control,
I bring to your attention our letter to you dated 9/12/2017 which in essence, requested the appointment of neutral officials pursuant to our WBO Championship Contests Regulations for the upcoming Heavyweight title bout between Joseph Parker versus Hughie Fury. Furthermore, we advised to apply the same procedure and criteria used for the Joshua versus Klitschko bout, in furtherance of settling the present issue.
Please be advised that our Section 23 subsection (e) of the WBO Championship Contests
Regulations in relevant, provides the following:
“… In all World Championship contests, the WBO President shall endeavor to appoint neutral officials, that is, officials who are not of the same nationality of place of residence or origin of the Champion or the Challenger(s), or of their respective agents. USA residents shall be considered neutral if they are residents of different states or commonwealths as the contestants…”
Although we acknowledge that British Boxing Board of Control is empowered and has complete jurisdiction over such matter, we respectfully consider this practice as deficient and contrary to the rules and regulations of the organization
Please be advised the WBO has taken necessary measures to assure the enforcement of our rules and regulations. We have appointed a new WBO Supervisor official and requested the presence of our First Vice President Mr. John Duggan, to oversee the sanctioned title bout as precautionary and transparency purposes.
The WBO recognizes and abides by the British Boxing Board of Control’s jurisdiction. However, we truly believe our request of neutral officials fulfills the intention of all parties.